What Would You Do If Your Collective Of Tiny Bots Suddenly Decide To Mutiny Would You Find Bioprinted Steak Delicious, Even After It Was Signed By The Artist Is An Second Attention Span Long Enough To Bond With A Cryogenically Revived Tourist Would You Sell Your Native Language To Send Your Daughter To College The Avant Garde Of Science Fiction Has Appeared, Arriving Via Time Machines And Portals That May Or May Not Work Properly In This Space Age Sequel To Award Winning Anthology, The New Voices Of Fantasy, The New Voices Of Science Fiction Has Launched The Rising Stars Of The Last Five Years Of Science Fiction, Including Rebecca Roanhorse, Amal El Mohtar, Alice Sola Kim, Sam J Miller, E Lily Yu, Rich Larson, Vina Jie Min Prasad, Sarah Pinsker, Darcie Little Badger, S Qiouyi Lu, Kelly Robson, Suzanne Palmer, Nino Cipri, And Their Wide Ranging Tales Were Hand Selected By Cutting Edge Author Hannu Rajaniemi The Quantum Thief And Genre Expert Jacob Weisman InvadersSo Go Ahead, Join The Starship Revolution The New Kids Hotwired The AI This short story collection caught my eye primarily because Hannu Rajaniemi s name was on the cover, but I wasn t fooled Not really This just happens to be a collection of the best SF stories to come out in the last five ish years, as selected by him and Jacob Weisman Was I still interested Yeah After all, those guys have good taste And when it comes to good tales as a whole, I enjoyed this entire book.I ve read a number of these stories already, and if I have, I m lightly skimming over them OtherwiseOpenness by Alexander Weinstein A cool, scary look at intimacy worthy of a Black Mirror episode, where giving another person access to all your secret kinks, buttons, and memories can be either a great boon or a relationship killer Me likey.The Shape of My Name by Nino Capri Time travel done in a very interesting way, focusing on a strained familial relationship than anything else The focus is clear but all the side discoveries are quite visceral UTOPIA, LOL by Jamie Wahls Clever take on virtual reality and memes, with the added benefit of AIs and badass choices Cool twist.Mother Tongues by S Qiouyi Lu Linguistics focused tale of parenthood and only wanting the best for the child with a very dark twist It made me very sad.In The Sharing Place by David Erik Nelson What seems to be a tale set in the brackets of the Stages of Grief eventually becomes something much interesting, creative Very chilling.A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie Min Prasad I ve read this twice and have seen it reprinted all over the place If you haven t read it, enjoy a printed tale as tasty as steak Don t ask if it s a forgery Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer Also a commonly reprinted tale, but quite fun A Hugo winner.Ice by Rich Larson Probably my least favorite of the collection, this was a tale of sibling rivalry on an ice planet Genetic jealousy.One Hour, Every Seven Years by Alice Sola Kim Very oppressive in isolation and loneliness, this time travel tale seems to have lots of hidden gems in it The descriptions of Venus and Mars and their places in the tale struck me as rather important Time to see the sun Toppers by Jason Sanford This one really caught my imagination Apocalyptic New York meets a creepy Whispering Mist that is a lot than it seems Two thumbs up.Tender Loving Plastics by Amman Sabet AIs and foster care What could go wrong Welcome To Your Authentic Indian Experience by Rebecca Roanhorse Another Hugo winner And it s easily one of the best stories I ve read in the last few years Quite sharp.Strange Waters by Samantha Mills Another re read for me, Water is not always water, and fishing is not always fishing Great worldbuilding, interesting mash.Calved by Sam J Miller Another re read Excellent setting with a frustrated dad just trying to do right but unable to get a grip on the future world or his own slightly estranged son.The Need for Air by Lettie Prell A virtual reality warning Pretty heartbreaking but my sympathies are all for the son Robo Liopleurodon by Darcie Little Badger Nanotech in the ocean Need I say Aren t you excited I was And am The Doing and Undoing of Jacob E Mwangi by E Lily Yu The transformation from gamer to dreamer Pretty mild, but interesting.Madeleine by Amal El Mohtar Probably one of my favorites in the bunch, it combines a voluntary medical trial with horrible time travel ish side effects, reality modifications, and the very uneasy feeling that memory inside time is all that we have Parts of me would call this a horror.Our Lady of the Open Road by Sarah Pinsker Very enjoyable tale of aging traveling rockers butting heads against a VR tech world.A Study in Oils by Kelly Robson I can t decide whether I think this is the best one in this collection or not, but it s really close I m a sucker for redemption stories especially when it comes tied to horrible sanctioned free range revenge and art. Depending on who you talk to, short form science fiction is either dead or thriving Those who espouse the theory that it is dead must be basing their opinion on the fact that the print magazine appears to be dying, or at least hanging by a thread Circulation figures for the big three Asimov s, Analog, and Fantasy and Science Fiction are either dropping annually or staying level However, there is a huge online presence for short fiction I won t list all the online magazines here, mostly because there are way to many to do so And a lot of the fiction is free There are sources for short science fiction than there have ever been, stories than there have ever been, and writers than there have ever been And I d guess many readers who follow short fiction might not even know who some of those writers are.The New Voices of Science Fiction, edited by Hannu Rajaniemi and Jacob Weisman both highly respected people in the field, contains a treasure trove of short fiction published in roughly the last five years Among the stories in this book you will find award finalists and winners These writers are just making their impact felt in the field, and every one of these stories is a gem.Three of the stories in the collection were the stars of the 2018 Hugo ballot The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer won the Hugo for Best Novelette, while A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie Min Prasad was a runner up in the same category that year Meanwhile, Rebecca Roanhorse, whose 2018 novel TRAIL OF LIGHTNING was a finalist for the Best Novel Hugo this year, won the Hugo for Best Short Story in 2018 for Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience The Secret Life of Bots was good the first time when I was reading for the Hugos, but it was much better the second time around A Series of Steaks was just as sly the second time around as it was the first Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience did not disappoint upon a second reading as well.The rest of the stories are outstanding in their own right Openness , by Alexander Weinstein is a tale of trying to make a relationship work in a time when you know everything about your partner and they know everything about you Jameie Wahls Utopia, LOL is a tale of AIs, virtual reality, and the future of mankind It s an amusing and lighthearted story that has a nice ending.A story that I had read in another collection, Mother Tongues , by S Qiouyi Lu, is a sad tale of what a mother will do for her child when she wants the best for her A really tough ending Rich Larson, who is as prolific a short story writer as any and who won the Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing that s mouthful in 2014, gives us Ice , a story of sibling rivalry on, what else, an ice planet It s been hard to avoid Larson, so I ve read quite a few of his stories and I have never been disappointed.One of my absolute favorites in the book is Our Lady of the Open Road by Sarah Pinsker I love music, and I love going to concerts, and I m old school This story hit all my buttons It tells the tale of a band of aging rockers who continue to tour and play live shows in the face of modern virtual reality entertainment The band does what it does for the love of music, the love of the road, and their version of integrity This story is barely science fictional, but it doesn t need the genre trappings to make it an emotionally touching story Much like Larson, I never met a Sarah Pinsker story I didn t like.Another terrific story is E Lily Yu s The Doing and Undoing of Jacob E Mwangi , about a gamer who believes that he can be the best of the best in his world until he finds out that he can do so much by leaving his life behind and joining the makers and doers It s a wonderful tale Another engaging story is Toppers by Jason Sanford It tells the tale of people trying to survive in a post apocalyptic New York City, and the strange things that live in the strange mist that engulfs the metropolis It s good stuff.The book has many stories that deal with parenting and parent child relationships A good one is The Need for Air by Lettie Prell It s the story of a mother and son trying to adapt to living in a virtual reality environment, but the son just isn t ready for that A different take on child rearing is Amman Sabet s Tender Loving Plastics , in which children are raised by AIs The Shape of My Name by Nino Cipri is a story about a strained family relationship using time travel as a way to try to make things work Quite touching Another particular favorite is Amal El Mohtar s Madeleine , a disturbing tale about a woman voluntarily taking part in a medical trial She encounters all sorts of side effects, including what appears to be time travel and hallucinations The tale takes a creepy turn at the end I love it.The list goes on One Hour, Every Seven Years by Alice Sola Kim, Robo Liopleurodon by Darcie Little Badger, Calved by Sam J Miller, In the Sharing Place by David Erik Nelson, Strange Waters by Samantha Mills and A Study in Oils by Kelly Robson would all be worthy of inclusion in a Year s Best Anthology for whatever year they were originally published Then again, this is a sort of Best of anthology, so in a sense they are already included in one of those types of volumes.Rajaniemi and Weisman have done an outstanding job compiling some of the best short science fiction by up and coming although I would argue that if you ve won the Hugo you re past that point new writers In a collection like this, I usually find one or two that aren t to my taste Not this time To me, every one is a winner The future of short form science fiction is in good hands. With any collection, you re going to like some stories, not like some, and hate a few With a collection of sci fi, stories are going to be all over the place within the genre That is all true of this collection There is time travel, cyberpunk, alien worlds, future earths and I had two favorites Strange Waters by Samantha MillsThe Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne PalmerI m going to look for by these authors. Full disclosure I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This collection of previously published short stories highlights authors that Rajaniemi and Weisman believe are rising stars in the genre As with any anthology, the stories can be hit or miss, although the editors picked many award winning stories for this collection You may recognize some of them As a whole, I thought this was a fun and thoughtful collection with some really lovely gems.My favorite was Strange Waters by Samantha Mills, a story about a time traveling fisherwoman who desperately wants to get home to her children Mother Tongues by S Qiouyi Lu is similarly heartbreaking, about a mother who is willing to give up her knowledge of her first language in order to give her daughter a better life Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience by Rebecca Roanhorse, about a Native American man working for a virtual reality tourism company that offers guests an authentic vision quest experience read chock full of stereotypes and cultural appropriation , is another obvious standout in this collection Our Lady of the Open Road by Sarah Pinsker appears to be connected to perhaps the inspiration for her novel A Song for a New Day, which just came out a few months ago.I also can t help but applaud an anthology like this that celebrates the talent of so many diverse writers whose work pushes the bounds of the genre in so many ways I think this collection of stories offers a good view of where the genre is heading, grappling with topics such as gender and sexuality, colonialism, climate change, AI, and .I ve provided the table of contents below, since I know I like to have that information when I consider buying reading an anthology full of reprinted stories and I assume that many of you do too.Table of Contents Openness by Alexander Weinstein The Shape of My Name by Nino Cipri Utopia, LOL by Jamie Wahls Mother Tongues by S Qiouyi Lu In the Sharing Place by David Erik Nelson A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie Min Prasad The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer Ice by Rich Larson One Hour, Every Seven Years by Alice Sola Kim Toppers by Jason Sanford Tender Loving Plastics by Amman Sabet Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience by Rebecca Roanhorse Strange Waters by Samantha Mills Calved by Sam J Miller The Need for Air by Lettie Prell Robo Liopleurodon by Darcie Little Badger The Doing and Undoing of Jacob E Mwangi by E Lily Yu Madeleine by Amal El Mohtar Our Lady of the Open Road by Sarah Pinsker A Study in Oils by Kelly Robson Originally published on my blog Nonstop Reader The New Voices of Science Fiction is an anthology of new SF short fiction expertly curated and introduced by Hannu Rajaniemi Jacob Weisman Released 13th Nov 2019 by Tachyon, it s 432 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats These stories 20 by my count , were originally published between 2015 and 2019 and are gathered here for the first time.This is top shelf fiction One of the reasons I like anthologies and collections is that they re often full of new to me authors for further reading I ve always had a particular fondness for collections anthologies because short fiction is spare and technically challenging, so you get a better feel for an author s expertise with the form Short fiction is less of a time commitment as well, so if one story is not working for you, there s another piece readily available in a few pages.This is a showcase of up and coming authors it s a sister volume to The New Voices of Fantasy from 2017 The short introductions for each story are interesting and well written and add a lot of interest.The quality of the stories is very high They are well written, varied, well curated stories Of the 20 included stories, only a few were from authors familiar to me.It s unclear from the publishing info available online, but the eARC I received has a handy interactive table of contents I hope the ebook release version does also I ve really become enad of ebooks with interactive formats lately Presumably that feature will carry through to the final release version.I think this might be the first time I ve given an anthology 5 stars These stories are varied in tone, execution, length, subject matter, but they re all really good.Disclosure I received an ARC at no cost from the author publisher for review purposes. This intelligently edited anthology showcases a number of new voices in science fiction, many of whom are already becoming Big Names in the field Kelly Robson, Rebecca Roanhorse, Sam Miller, Rich Larson, Sarah Pinsker They all have signature stories here What s interesting are the newcomers that the editors profile, some of whom I ve never read Nino Cipri, Jamie Wahls, Lettie Prell, and others.But do you know what I miss Funny science fiction, like what Connie Willis does There is lots of funny fantasy RIP, Sir Terry Pratchett , but not much SF that s humorous In this collection, the closest are Wahls s story Utopia, LOL and Suzanne Palmer s The Secret Life of Bots There are genderfluid stories here, and a number of takes on time travel Authors don t seem to be afraid of time paradoxes any, but use time travel to examine the choices we make and the identities we build The current issue of gender identity is a very SF nal concept, and authors are working with it to expand the boundaries of SF once again, far beyond the classic time travel and gender swapping Heinlein story All You Zombies. from TachyonPub and voluntarily reviewedSo I don t read a lot of science fiction I know It s a flaw I have and I m working on it I decided to give this a shot because I tend to be impressed by the quality of books from Tachyon Publications so I knew I was in good hands I also don t like very hardcore science fiction or too much AI So, I was a bit nervous about reading this I needn t have worried I was surprised by the excellent quality of the stories I enjoyed every one I read a lot of anthologies and the trend seems to be that at least one or two fall short of the mark That wasn t the case here Every story worked and some a bit than others My favourites were Openness by Alexander Weinstein, The Shape of My Name by Nino Capri, UTOPIA, LOL by Jamie Wahls, Mother Tongues by S Qiouyi Lu, In the Sharing Place by David Erik Nelson and Ice by Rich Larson I enjoyed ever story here but these shone a little brighter. There s frankly nothing NOT to like in this excellent collection of perfectly written short stories They all brought me back to my childhood days of reading the brilliant works of some of the best science fiction authors of the late 1950s and 1960s in particular, Dick, Ellison, Asimov, Norton, and Ray Bradbury, whose excellent All Summer in a Day is heavily lifted but expanded broadly with a time travel twist I felt compelled to read this in a few weeks time, as I was reading against the clock sincere thanks to NetGalley for their pre publication copy in exchange for this review but this is a book I ll purchase in order to read and enjoy spread throughout the year A collection of stunning short stories that really brought me back.Thanks, also, to the editors for expanding my reading list as I chase down other works by these exceptional authors. The New Voices of Science Fiction is a brilliant anthology of cutting edge short stories hand selected by award winning author Hannu Rajaniemi The stories come from the new wave of science fiction authors from a diverse range of countries, ethnicities, sexualities, and gender identities all of which is reflected in their works This is a genre spanning collection covering space, aliens, time travel, post apocalypse, technology, medicine, parallel worlds, and , and as with all such compendiums some tales are better than others, but here the balance favours the excellent over anything else I don t read enough science fiction these days, but this has certainly inspired me to look out material by the authors included, as well as other upcoming writers in the field. I really was not sure what to expect from this anthology, but I was totally surprised and happy This collection of stories is VERY good These are really wonderful writers, that even if a story didn t hit me like a sledgehammer, or like a soft caress, they were all innovative, well written, intriguing and thought provoking.It is rare that anthologies manage to keep my interest throughout all the stories This one did I didn t necessarily think EVERY story was amazing, but I must say, this is a fine set of stories The authors will have long and successful careers Many of them are already putting out collections and debut novels and the like and now, unfortunately, my TBR will increase by 22 books because I really want to read what else these authors come up with.Read this for the future Read this for the upcoming Read this for the joy.
- 432 pages
- The New Voices of Science Fiction
- Hannu Rajaniemi
- 04 May 2019 Hannu Rajaniemi